The kids are getting older (the Puddinpop is approaching 9!), which means we’re now entering the span of our lives that includes having a list of evening activities capable of reducing committed mothers to actual institutional commitment. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones and avoid that by somehow learning to cope with effectively being a taxi service for 10 years, it’s nearly inevitable that there will come at least some interruption to the regular nightly family dinner. At the moment, then, it pleases me that we can still sit down for a nice meal together, no matter how many times I have to tell the younger ones to keep their elbows off the table and not to make spoon-a-pults with a heaping mashed potato payload of ordinance.
At any rate, we had a lovely dinner together recently, which included around a warming bowl of the Puddinette’s crock-pot simmered, home-made Texas chili. For the record, hers falls in the Just-Enough-Spice-For-Kids-To-Consume-Without-Tears category of heat unlike my own Experimentally-Nuclear. So, as I was raining drop after drop of hot sauce over a quickly melting layer of cheese – because my tongue gets me into all sorts of trouble and must occasionally be punished with excess capsaicin – my wife looked at me and said, “You need to like Wisk.”
I struggled to the understand her request without asking for more information, fearing it should already make sense to me but that I lacked some critical bit of context. You know, because the aliens have been harvesting memories right out of my head, or perhaps, because, um, she told me something during a rare moment when I wasn’t necessarily listening with completely attention. At any rate, since I apparently gave her a look that was reminiscent of a spider monkey trying to use a calculator, she added, “I need you to like Wisk on Facebook. You’ll get a coupon. We need soap for the washer.”
Ah, so it was not “like”, but “Like”.
And that’s when I came to the realization that we have finally reached the stage of evolution with social media where I want to stab things.
My problem is that when I indicate that I like something, especially in a relatively open forum, the idea is to convey that I am genuinely a fan of it or have some affection or appreciation for the subject in question. It shouldn’t be some mercenary arrangement in which I pretend to enjoy something just to get a $1.00 off coupon.
You used to get coupons in a big, honking section of the Sunday newspaper (which, although not free, at least came with, you know, news) or once a month by mail in a big envelope addressed to Current Resident (which, by the way, was always for me when I was a kid). And sure, you still get them that way, but it seems like what one can acquire through those sources anymore aren’t really the solid, a-list deals. Nowadays, if you want the best bargains, you’d better be ready to publicly promote a product that, candidly, you’ll only use if it’s on sale.
For that matter, maybe I don’t want to publicly admit I “Like” something in order to get a deal or two. I imagine it’s pretty irksome to know that there’s a 50% off coupon available for Tucks Medicated Pads or Preparation H one short, embarrassing mouse-click away. You, know, unless you don’t care to announce to everyone you know (which probably includes your boss, your ex-high school sweetheart, and your former football coach) that you’re the guy with the pained look on his face whenever the grass gets long enough to require an hour on the lawn tractor.
Of course, that’s just an example. I’m obviously, I’m not that guy. Really. You know, for the record. Just saying.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone that openly endorses a certain product for something in return is called a spokesperson. In my estimation, that’s a position usually reserved for those with a certain level of cache or celebrity. And sure, Puddintopia is crazy popular among the “mothers-and-wives-of-Puddin” set, but I don’t think I’m ready to ink an endorsement deal with Uni-ball pens just yet.
So, I’ve had it. Attention, marketing teams of the world, you can just keep your deals to yourself. You want to buy my “Like”? You can talk to my agent first.
You know, unless my wife tells me I have to. That’s different.